It’s difficult to teach our children the importance of healthy eating without turning them into obsessive calorie counters. That’s not counterproductive which is why I love the program Red Light Green Light Eat Right. It’s revolutionary and focuses on the right kind of food you could be eating; not the calorie counts.
Some of you may not remember this but in 2012, I participated in a local 90 day weight loss challenge. I didn’t win the challenge, and honestly that wasn’t my goal at all, it did change my life and that was all that I wanted. Then I got pregnant. I had really good intentions to keep my eating and workout routine up during my pregnancy but that just didn’t happen. I could give you a number of excuses that are actually pretty valid but that’s not the point of this post. Now here I am at almost the place where I had to start in 2012 during the Challenge. The difference? I know more now and I’ve realized that I love working out. The major hurdle, and I’m finding this to be with any healthier lifestyle change, is the food.
Ugh. The food part of healthy living is such a challenge because as Americans we make convenience so easy and appealing. Plus, let’s be real here, crappy, bad for you food is cheaper. If you’ve grown up in a house where you bought whatever was in the grocery store it doesn’t come natural to look for organic and all natural products and don’t even get me started on marketing and buzz words. That’s not what this post is about though. This is about me and my family, the way we are going to go back to the basics and to where we were two years ago; because as the mom of the family I do drive the nutrition plan. I know from experience that if I make changes my family will follow suit.
5 Easy Family Resolutions – Time to Be Healthy
1. Taking the time to make my own breakfast and lunch. I’m good about making dinner from scratch (and by scratch I mean not from a box) but when it comes to myself I just eat whatever I can during the day. That means if I don’t have time I’ll have chips or nibble off whatever the kids have had for lunch. I need to eat a well balanced meal; it’ll keep me full and actually fuel my body rather than just appease it.
2. Continue to workout; not going more than two days in a row missing a workout. I have a mommy friend that I workout with. She and I do our best to get up and workout by 6:30am. On my own I’ll hit that snooze button every single time. When I know she’s on the other end depending on me, however, I get up. I also know that I just will not workout later on in the day or at night. By that time I’m exhausted and I just want to veg out and relax. That’s okay and everyone needs to relax but that’s why I have to get my workout over with early.
3. On the resolution to get up and workout, more sleep is needed…definitely earlier bedtime. It is so hard for me to get to bed early and I never had that problem before I became a mom. The reason? I thrive on being productive; seeing a task completed from start to finish just doesn’t happen during the day since I’m nursing my eight-month-old daughter.
4. Using the Red Light, Green Light food list to help the kids make better choices. I was watching Katie Couric’s talk show two years ago and she had a pediatrician, Dr. Joanna Dolgoff, on talking about her program Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right. It’s a truly brilliant nutritional education tool for children and it has a 96% success rate. I’m all about teaching the kids how to make healthy choices, I don’t want to place too many rules on them. As a teenager I was a rebel and I still have that rebellious spirit in me. I know one of my children will be the same way too so I figure that education is the best option for our family when it comes to eating.
I made a sheet with my oldest, Brennan, who was four-years-old at the time, and we put it up on our refrigerator. Brennan referenced it all the time and it was so awesome to have that sheet of paper be the food police and not me.
I’ve created a printable for you and your child to use. I suggest going through magazines or using Google images together to cut out and paste directly onto the sheet. Here’s the basic gist: Green light foods are foods that there is no limit to – think vegetables and fruit. These foods can also be referred to as “Grow” foods because they are not manufactured; they are whole. Yellow light foods are foods that are grown, however, they need some processing in order to eat. We typically don’t eat them in their original form – think raw meat, grains straight from the field, etc. So these foods we eat in moderation daily – yogurt, milk, meat, grains. Red light foods, well, that should be obvious. These foods are ones that we eat but definitely not daily and should be reserved for special occassions, like birthday cake. Click here to print the printable.
5. Being active together as a family. One of the great things about the Challenge was that it forced me to be active even when I wasn’t at the gym. I had to be creative in how I did that and I needed to do it with the kids. Whether it was working out in our basement “gym” while they were awake and watching me or running to the library with them in a jogging stroller, watching them pretend to workout on their own or alongside me has been on of the most gratifying experiences in this whole healthy lifestyle change. Kendall, my three-year-old middle daughter, when she was given new tennis shoes, called them her workout shoes and promptly went running around our main floor because she was working out.